‘Fear factor is gone’: Delhi hosts 1st Pride since decriminalization of homosexuality (VIDEOS)
Thousands took to the streets of Delhi to celebrate the landmark occasion in style, with colorful rainbow banners draped across the streets and crowds replete with costumed revellers on Sunday.
Section 377 was struck down by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra in September ending a 157-year-old colonial-era law that governed ill-defined “unnatural offences,” and carried a penalty of up to 10 years in jail.
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“Any consensual sexual relationship between two consenting adults — homosexuals, heterosexuals or lesbians — cannot be said to be unconstitutional,” Misra said as he passed the judgement in September, as cited by Reuters.
“It’s the first time we are not marching as criminals,” Deepti, one of the organizers of the historic Delhi Pride 2018 march, said, according to Pink News.
However, given India’s large religious conservative population, it may be some years before full acceptance takes hold, organizers and revellers warned.
“It will take one more generation for social acceptance but the fear factor is gone,” participant Deepanshu Goswami said. “I’m enjoying my life as a free citizen now.”
The march was the biggest Pride event in India since it began in 2007 according to the organizers. Though section 377 was briefly repealed in 2009, it was reimposed following pressure from religious lobby groups to the Supreme Court in 2014.
India is now one of 120 countries that have decriminalized homosexuality across the globe.
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